Micron in, Freescale out of SEMATECH flock

February 28, 2007 – SEMATECH has named Micron Technology Inc. to its International SEMATECH Manufacturing Initiative (ISMI) roster, to participate in programs that focus on reducing per-wafer and per-die manufacturing costs through advances in equipment, process, resources, fab design, and manufacturing methods.

Micron, one of the establishing members of SEMATECH, will only be joining the ISMI program this time around, “in which their goals are better aligned for our business needs,” according to a spokesperson. Projects of interest to Micron’s wafer fab department involve manufacturing efficiency, equipment improvement and productivity, e-manufacturing, and metric benchmarking. Other projects and activities receiving focus will be environmental/safety/health, metrology, and SEMATECH’s 300mm Prime program, which seeks to smooth the eventual future transition to 450mm wafers, the spokesperson indicated.

“ISMI’s program captured Micron’s interest with its progress in improving fab and equipment productivity,” according to Brian Shields, Micron’s VP of worldwide wafer fabrication, in a statement. “We appreciate ISMI’s focus on making technical achievement its top priority, as we work as an industry to take advantage of digital technology.”

While adding Micron, SEMATECH is reportedly losing another member: Freescale Semiconductor, which had carried over membership from former parent Motorola, a founding member of SEMATECH.

A Freescale spokesperson told WaferNEWS that the decision was independent from the company’s move earlier this year to pursue advanced chipmaking R&D (post-45nm) with IBM’s Common Platform Alliance, instead of continuing work with partners in the Crolles2 Alliance, though both changes came about amid “ongoing efforts to reevaluate our alliances and R&D spend in response to changing business priorities.” (Weeks later, Crolles2 partner STMicroelectronics also announced it would seek outside partners for 32nm development work.)


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